Playoffs! Kannapolis Clinches Playoff Spot for First Time since 2018 > City of Kannapolis | City of Kannapolis

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Backed by a, 6-0, shutout victory in Salisbury, Maryland against the Delmarva Shorebirds and a walk-off extra innings win by the Myrtle Beach Pelicans over the Columbia Fireflies on Sunday, the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers have clinched the first-half division title in the Carolina League South division in 2024.

With the clinch of a playoff spot, Kannapolis will have postseason baseball for the first time since 2018, when the Kannapolis Intimidators were swept in a best-of-3 series with the Lakewood BlueClaws at Intimidators Stadium in 2018. It is their first first-half division title since 2017, when the Intimidators swept the Greensboro Grasshoppers in the semifinals before falling to the Greenville Drive in the South Atlantic League Championship series. This will be the first time Kannapolis will see playoff baseball as a member of the Carolina League.

The Ballers, who finish their trip to Delmarva with a 39-23 record, dominated from May 10 on, shooting up the standings from 14-16 to a 25-7 record over their last 32 games. Kannapolis found three separate occasions of four-game win streaks in the half, culminating with an impressive nine-game win streak from May 29 to June 7.

As a team, the Cannon Ballers are third in all of Minor League Baseball in team ERA (3.03), trailing only the Birmingham Barons and Akron RubberDucks. Kannapolis also boasts the highest run-differential of any team in the Carolina League and the second-highest in all of Minor League Baseball at +140, only 10 behind the California League’s Modesto Nuts.

Kannapolis’ win on Sunday displayed all the positive aspects of the team from the first half. Not only did the bats show up and produce runs against the Shorebirds, but the pitching found success early and often in the shutout win. LHP Lucas Gordon, who leads the Carolina League in ERA (2.04) and opponent batting average (.172), mowed through five shutout innings before turning it over to the bullpen, where RHPs Luke Bell, Mark McLaughlin and Jesus Mendez combined to finish the job.

The offense hit their stride early on in Sunday’s win, handing the Ballers a, 1-0, lead on a solo home run from Albertson Asigen in the top of the first inning. Mikey Kane and Caden Connor, who leads the Carolina League in a plethora of offensive statistical categories, also provided RBI in the win, helping Kannapolis with their part of the clinch scenario.

The Cannon Ballers still have four games to complete in the first half of action in the Carolina League season before the standings reset on Friday, June 21. Kannapolis will host the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Single-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, June 18-23 for seven games, with Wednesday, June 19 being a seven-inning doubleheader. The Ballers will celebrate more than just a division crown this upcoming homestand, honoring Jackie Robinson with the retirement of his legendary number 42 in between games of the doubleheader.

Fans can purchase tickets for Tuesday’s game or any remaining home games at kcballers.com or at the F&M Bank Box Office located at Atrium Health Ballpark. Tickets for the 2024 Carolina League Playoffs will become available in the near future, with fans being encouraged to stay in the loop on the Cannon Ballers’ social media outlets for further information to come.